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  1. #1
    Senior Member cod.peace's Avatar
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    Looking for a cycling training program...

    If anyone is familiar with the Couch to 5k Running Program (from www.coolrunning.com), I'm interested to know if there's anything similar for cycling.

    My goal is to bike to work. This is 12.5 miles each way with a bunch of modest hills. My longest ride so far was 12 miles last Tuesday. That went ok, although I averaged a whopping 11 mph! This morning I intended to do 12.5 miles but had to turn around after 2.5, for a total ride of 5 miles . My legs felt like lead pipes and now I am left with serious soreness. I realized I am no way ready to jump up to 125 miles a week of full-time bike commuting! I hadn't quite realized how poor my fitness level had gotten when a nasty case of both-feet plantar fascitis over most of 2007 sort of sidelined me from my old fitness routines.

    I feel like I'm being a bit too ad-hoc about this. If I want to work up to my goal before the weather gets too cold I need to be a bit more systematic. So...is there a cycling version fo the Couch to 5k? Are there any good books on cycling training?
    old steel Specialized Hardrock

  2. #2
    Senior Member dbikingman's Avatar
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    I'm not familiar with any programs. I am familiar with the C25K program and was on it until I had knee surgery. One reason I ride now. Many of the books I see tend to be for racing so I can't recommend any. I would just try to push yourself each week. Write down a plan. I SAID WRITE DOWN A PLAN. Look at what you are currently doing and try to increase each week. Some will say to limit yourself to 10% a week, I think if you are new to cycling that is too conservative. Try to have one long ride on the weekend, by long for you I mean around 15 miles. If you have to take a break during the ride. Your other rides can be shorter but maybe at a slightly faster pace. The day after you long ride take the day off or just a real slow ride to loosen up the muscles.

    Then you might try a 15 mile ride in the morning and then in the afternoon once you think you are ready for to start commuting. Do this on the weekend when you have time to rest in between rides and there is no hurry. This will give you the confidence to start commuting and then just start adding days.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    I'm a Cyclist! Missbumble's Avatar
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    So what do I know...overweight new biker that I am..but I would say also work out on Cardi at the gym. Start at say 20 minutes on the elliptical and then try and increase to 45. So net net 5-7 days a week I am either riding or working out. (Though to be truthful - I started this DVD that has me lunging and doing squats and have been working up a smaller sweat and not hitting the gym lately - just riding and doing exercises...)

    I also think ricing the bike will help you work up to riding more on the bike - It's just think the corss training may be good as well. I think that the guys here will give you better advice... I would state you height and weight so they know where youa re starting from and if you truly did zero exercise before you started biking.

    Soon the pros will come around and give you some suggestions form their own experience.

  4. #4
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Cardio, Circuit training, periodization and ride! Ultimately, you need to do more than just ride your bike to hit your peak and avoid general adaptation syndrome.

    Here is some basic information for training for a Century ride to get you started.
    http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/c...a/aa052703.htm

    Circuit Training:
    http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com...-training.html

    Periodization:
    http://www.asimba.com/periodization.shtml
    http://www.trifuel.com/triathlon/tri...ork-000625.php

    Look through all this and you'll get a better understanding of what yu can do.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

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  5. #5
    Tilting with windmills txvintage's Avatar
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    When I was picking up my copy of Zinn & The Art Of Road Bike Maintenance I noticed a book titled 100 Days To 100 Miles on the shelf.

    100 days is optimistic, to say the least, but I think it's my next book purchase. When I read the back cover, it was clear that it wasn't just for racing as much as it was endurance. I'll be hitting the 1/2 priced book stores in the area and see if there is a copy there before I spring for full retail at the LBS (Local Book Store).

    One of my more saddening realizations of late is that at 45, with several orthopedic hurdles and pounds to over come, I can't just go out and ride myself into shape like I could 20 yrs ago. It's going to take a program that covers more than just saddle time.

    I've been at this for about 4 months now and dropped close to 30 lbs. On way too many days it's been too much like work, with minimal recreation involved. As our Dog Days of Summer start to fade, I plan on using a different approach both on and off the bike.

  6. #6
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Ride, ride, ride.

    Build in some rest days. Go longer some days, shorter some days. Go fast some days, slower other days. Hills and flats, intervals - non intervals, etc., etc.

    It really isn't hard - time is your friend.

    Soon you will wonder what all the fuss was about.

    Be sure to enjoy your riding.

    Keep in mind, I am a non-analytical person.

    Yet, somehow when I started riding totally out of shape in March at age 58 10 years ago, I was riding 100 mile days by the end of June using my simple method.

    Ride, ride, ride.

    It really isn't rocket science.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 08-24-08 at 07:29 AM.

  7. #7
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    As a basic rule, increase approximately 10% a week to get yourself to a goal. But, the reason a LOT of people have soreness, is because they do NOT stretch after a workout. If you do proper static stretches after riding, you will decrease the chance of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). A static stretch should last 30 - 60 seconds and is not a painful stretch, but one that actually you can feel the stretch of the muscles. This will help you the following day more than you think.

    Do not stretch before you ride, but you can start out slow and warm your body up and then do your ride. Once you get done with your ride, slow down to let your heart recover, and walk around for a few minutes to cool down. Then do the static stretches for your calves, quads, hamstrings, and the tibialis anterior (opposite of calf muscle called the antagonist).

    Doing these stretches will help you. That is why when you go to a group exercise class, you will have a warm up, a work phase, a cool down and some stretching at the end. The problem is that most will not do the stretching or will leave during the cool down phase. Then they will have problems with venus blood pooling.

    Good luck with your goals. I wish I had a longer ride to work, but I have converted another worker at my YMCA to riding to work everyday also. Not a long distance, but better than driving his truck.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member cod.peace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    Keep in mind, I am a non-analytical person.

    It really isn't rocket science.
    See, I'm the opposite - as a physicist (who also has a degree in philosophy), I'm analytic to a fault. And I work in rocket science

    Thanks for the links and tips everyone! I think I'll take the next two or three lunch breaks to rest and work on converting my bike over to cantilever brakes, which I've been putting off. After I do some reading I'll make up a workout plan and see where that takes me.
    old steel Specialized Hardrock

  9. #9
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cod.peace View Post
    See, I'm the opposite - as a physicist (who also has a degree in philosophy), I'm analytic to a fault. And I work in rocket science

    Thanks for the links and tips everyone! I think I'll take the next two or three lunch breaks to rest and work on converting my bike over to cantilever brakes, which I've been putting off. After I do some reading I'll make up a workout plan and see where that takes me.
    DARN, not another one!

    We once did an occupation survey on BFN, and found a WHOLE LOT of technical, analytical types.

    Drives me nuts!

  10. #10
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cod.peace View Post
    If anyone is familiar with the Couch to 5k Running Program (from www.coolrunning.com), I'm interested to know if there's anything similar for cycling.

    My goal is to bike to work. This is 12.5 miles each way with a bunch of modest hills. My longest ride so far was 12 miles last Tuesday. That went ok, although I averaged a whopping 11 mph! This morning I intended to do 12.5 miles but had to turn around after 2.5, for a total ride of 5 miles . My legs felt like lead pipes and now I am left with serious soreness. I realized I am no way ready to jump up to 125 miles a week of full-time bike commuting! I hadn't quite realized how poor my fitness level had gotten when a nasty case of both-feet plantar fascitis over most of 2007 sort of sidelined me from my old fitness routines.

    I feel like I'm being a bit too ad-hoc about this. If I want to work up to my goal before the weather gets too cold I need to be a bit more systematic. So...is there a cycling version fo the Couch to 5k? Are there any good books on cycling training?
    You need to Go Slow as you are new to riding. Forget about Speed. You are not ready for Speed.
    Takes 500 miles for your legs to get stronger. Takes another 1000 for your legs to get ready for Speed.
    Just ride for seat time. Track your miles if you want.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    I am no expert, but I can tell you that when I started bike commuting daily back in April of '07. During the first few weeks even my very modest 10 mile round trip would kick my butt. Since you also have hills to deal with you definitely need to start slowly. As we are quickly approaching Fall weather here in the North East you have both good and bad things about to start. The good is that the temperatures will start to be cooler. For me a cool ride is MUCH easier than a very hot ride. You can always shed a layer when you are hot. The bad is that we start to get COLD rain. During the Summer I may wait a few minutes if it is raining hard as most rains storms here in Western NY come from thunderstorms. In the Fall you get more of those slow steady rain systems. If you have a bike rack on your car see, if you can find a good place half way to park the first few weeks, and then ride every other day. That will give your legs some rest. After some good workouts, you will feel your legs! If took me a few months before my legs got completely used to the rinding. By alternating, you can also use your car to bring a some changes of cloths and extra food and drink that would just add more weight to your commute. Once you get comfortable with the 1/2 distance in a few weeks, see if you can make it 3/4 distance. Don't push your self too hard. Listen to you body. It isn't bad to feel your legs and know they are getting a good workout, but you don't want to be in pain. On the days you don't ride think about adding a little upper body workout. I've been adding some crunches, pushups and other excersizes to help strengthen my core. My legs are strong, but the rest still needs more work!

    Most of all remember it takes time to build up endurance. Last Summer I was very proud of riding a 33 mile charity ride. Following that ride I purposely added a few more 30 to 35 Mile rides during the Summer. Over the Winter I continued to ride, but in all fairness when it is 2F outside with a windchill of -26F (not including the speed of my bike) just going 10 Miles is enough effort. During the Spring I was able to start riding longer distances. At that time I also added a road bike to my collection. In about 1/5 years I went from finding 5 miles a good workout to becoming an Winter cyclists, and then contemplating and successfully completing a Centrury ride. When I started I had no idea that this is where I was heading. As others have pointed out the old joke: How do you eat an elephant? ... on bite at a time.

    Find a way to start that works for you and then slowly increase your riding from there. Life is not a race... it is a journey.

    Happy riding and good luck,
    André

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